Website screenshot API service means who provide API can convert one URL to image. For example, there is a live screenshot provide by page2images of google. It is an automatically generated image. It will be refreshed every month. (Of cause, you can add some code in the URL in case you need refresh it everyday or everyweek.)
Although you can use some opensource project like cutycapt, slimerjs or PhantomJs to build your own website screenshot application. It will take you a lot of time to fix the bugs of them, install flash plug-in, setup environment, install fonts, build application and handle the concurrency problem. It will be a smart idea to use an API to speed up. In the world, there are 3 major commercial website screenshot API providers who are serious on this business and providing stable and good service. They are: Page2Images, ShrinkTheWeb, URL2PNG. We do not think a free service will fit your commercial level requirement since they are free and not stable. However, we list them here for your convenience: web-capture, capturefullpage, browsershots. There are also some other website screenshot API provider in the world. But we think they are not serious on their business and not stable. Let us also list them here for your convenience: pagepeeker, screenshotmachine…
Anyway, let us talk about the top 3 here.
Today (2014-06-16), let us compare the price and other features of them.
If you save $10 per month, it means $100 per year. Remember that, if you provide a backlink to page2images, they will double your credits.
|Unique URL Per 30 days
|10,000||$10||$67 ($200 per 30,000 calls)||$60 (You need pay for some extra features.)|
|50,000||$25 ($29.99 per 60,000 urls)||N/A||$85|
How many time it will take to performance 1K unique URLs. We used the top 1,000 websites of Alexa as sample.
|Unique URL||Page2Images||URL2PNG||Shrinktheweb (best)
|1K||274 seconds||N/A||311 seconds|
How many HTML5 tags has been supported in embed browsers. We used http://html5test.com as tool.
Main Core Engine
What is the version of their core engine of browsers.
|QTWebkit & Firefox||Chrome||Firefox|
As you can see, page2images is the winner on the price and performance. And it is a little bit slower on HTML5. But I still think it is valuable to you to choose page2images.